Should you respond to that reciprocal link request?

We’ve all received those email requests, right?  The sender says they found your site and think that your site would be a good fit for a reciprocal link with their site.  Should you respond?  Our advice?  No.  Here’s why:

1.  Google views 1 to 1 reciprocal links with a very, very low importance.  This means that even if you create the links between your sites, it is not helping you from an SEO standpoint in any big way.  Google much prefers one-way inbound links to your site because that scenario is considered “neutral” and holds more weight with Google.

2.  Google is can actually penalize your website for participating in these linking schemes designed for the sole purpose of increasing your site’s ranking.  You should always ignore requests from web spammers who most likely will link your site in one of these flagged sites and that association could decrease your ranking.  Don’t take the chance.  It’s simply not worth the penalty of losing your ranking.

3.  Spend your time and resources creating a great site with great content.  That’s the best advice I can give you because if you do that correctly, then people will naturally link to your site over time and this will provide the greatest benefit to your site’s ranking.

Remember that the risks of cross-linking and link exchanging far outweigh the benefits.

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